• EMD SD45 series official thread (covers all variations)

  • Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.
Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

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  by Joe
 
I've seen it! Pretty ugly if you ask me.
  by emd_SD_60
 
IIRC, didn't the fuel-guzzling 20-cylinder 645 have a lot to do? I know a good deal of railroads (BN, ATSF, SP) bought them, but it seemed within 15 years the BN F45's and SD45's were retired, sold to regionals (WC a prime example). But we have SD40's built around the exact time period (1966-1970)still online almost 40 years later! :wink: And I also thought the SD45's/F45's had electrical problems too, which contributed to their short lifes on major railroads too. Am I correct also on that?

  by BlackDog
 
Fuel consumption was a big issuee, trying to keep those 4 extra cylinders fed.
Another problem was the crankshafts had a tendancy to break in rather spectacular (and expensive) fashion.

WC guys were not to enamored with the F45's because of visibility while switching, the low nose door (nearly every WC hogger who ran an F45 has a crease across the top of their head from hitting the top of the doorway, and for whatever reason no one has been able to explain to me, the F45's didn't seem to pull as well as a conventional SD45.

  by emd_SD_60
 
I had forgotten about the crankshaft problems... it probably wasn't a big issue back in the late-60's early-70's, as they were fairly new then... maybe if it had EMD would start re-engining them with 16-645's... re: the F45's... they probably were meant for long straight stretches of line where they could "pull"... like Santa Fe's FP45's for example. :wink:

Speaking of "pull", with the 20's they had a lot more torque than the 16's in the SD40's back in the day...

  by Allen Hazen
 
I've never understood the fuel-economy rationale. Sure, an SD45 is going to burn more fuel than an SD40, but it's going to provide more pull, too. Is the SPECIFIC fuel consumption (gallons per horsepower-hour) worse? And if so, why, given that the individual cylinders are identical between the two designs?
--
How about: with rare exceptions, the main growth in the American railroad industry in the 1970s was in coal, and railroad managements basically wanted drag-freight locomotive types?

  by QuietGuy
 
Mr Hazen is correct - a 20 cylinder engine has a higher horsepower rating (4000 hp) than a 16 cylinder engine with 3200 hp rating so more fuel is burned to generate 4000 hp than to generate 3000 hp. The bsfc (brake specific fuel consumption) for the 20 cylinder is the same as the 16, i.e. the amount of fuel the engine takes to generate 1 hp is the same for both engines. The SD-45 could pull larger loads, that's why it burned more fuel. Or it could get the same load up to speed quicker. Horsepower is needed to get the train moving. Once it is moving, only air friction and some rail friction need to be overcome. Going up a hill needs more power also to keep the train moving. The advantage of the SD-45 was that it could pull bigger loads and provide more horspower when needed.

Unfortunately, there was a crankshaft support problem with the initial batch of engines. The crankshaft wobbled, and then broke due to fatigue failure. Once this was discovered, EMD did a crash redesign and none of the newer engines had that problem. It took a while to figure out how to fix the old ones. Some failures destroyed the engines, so those were replaced with new 20-645's engines. That new design was good and there are hundreds of 20-645 engines generating power and drilling oil to this day without problems.

Unfortunately, railroads do not ever forget problems like failures and tall 20-645's were given the bad reputation, thus new ones were never ordered. The bad rep was passed on to the 20-710 engine installed in the SD-80's. The 40 or so SD-80s in service for years with Conrail (then given to CSX & NS) have been running without major problems and with excellent reliability , but because they have a 20 cylinder engine, the bad reputation from those 20-645's kept any other railroads from ordering them. The SD-80 was EMD's attempt for a higher horspower locomotive. Since they couldn't sell them, they went ahead with the SD-90 and the 4-stroke H engine. The only problem I ever heard of on the SD-80 engines was some aftercooler water lines that broke due to vibration isssues. The problem might have developed because bad piping was used by the supplier. It was fixed when new pipe supports were added or the pipes were replaced. Fuel consumption per kWatt generated is the same for 20 & 16 cylinder engines. I heard the 12 & 8 cylinder versions are about the same too, even in the Tier 2 emission set-up. I don't think the 20 was ever tested in a Tier 2 set-up

  by mxdata
 
The crankshaft support problem that QuietGuy mentions was centered around the welding of the crankshaft supporting "A-frame" structures, primarily those toward the rear of the crankcase. There were several successive welding revisions to strengthen this area of the crankcase, but the most effective revision in the "E" crankcases included a change in the "A-frame" design that went into production around 1972. This reduced some critical stress concentrations and distributed the forces over a much larger footprint between the "A-frame" and the lower stress sheet in the crankcase.

  by ANDY117
 
I believe this is what's keeping the NYSW F45 OOS is a broken crankshaft.

  by emd_SD_60
 
What was with some of Union Pacific's SD45's catching fire? Did deferred maintenance have something to do? Speaking of the UP 45's, did the handful of them rebuilt with Sulzers retain their engines, or were they replaced with standard EMD engines. I know a few of them were rebuilt to SD40-2 specs, staying on the UP roster throughout. Now most of them went to CEFX.

Look at thes pics, they show of Utah Railway SD45's (and a ex-BN F45) doing their stuff. Also note how they smoke! :-)

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-u/utah-loco-a.jpg
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-u/utah-loco-b.jpg

:P

  by crazy_nip
 
you have to remember, when alot of the railroads bought the SD45's, they were planning on using them because they figured more horsepower pulled more

they realized after the fact that the SD40(-2) could do just as much as the SD45(-2) and cost considerabally less.

for the most part, roads who did alot of high speed, high priority freight (ATSF and EL come to mind) bought them in pretty high numbers and kept with them

roads who did not, and more or less used them on mixed freights and coal trains (BN, SP) did not because they could buy more units for the same ammount of money and not give up any real performance

looking specifically at ATSF and EL, they did alot of high(er) speed intermodal and priority freights with theirs, and they were very suited to that

looking at some of the other railroads who owned them, like the clinchfield, milw, bn, even prr, they used theirs for grunt freights and they did not have any advantages in this environmet over the sd40.

That and the forementioned crankshaft issue on the SD45, which was corrected in the -2 line.

  by AmtrakFan
 
What was the difference between the Plan SD45 and the SD45-2?

  by Kevin B.
 
The SD45-2 had the upgraded "modular" electronics that were first incorporated in the SD40-2. I'm not sure what all these new electronics controlled. I'm sure someone else can elaborate.


Kevin Beeler
Last edited by Kevin B. on Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Having run all of the locos, mentioned in this thread, and still running them now (just got off a KCS SD-45T-2, as a matter of fact, with an SD-45 as the second unit, although it was repowered with a 16 cylinder) I will say I never noticed a difference, in the pulling ability in any of them. That being said, why pay for the extra fuel, and higher maintanence costs, associated with those 4 extra cylinders? The SD-45's were an attempt, by EMD, to create a high horsepower road unit, to gain a decided advantage over GE, and to a lesser extent, Alco. The SD-40, and all of it's variants, delivered near equal performance, at a lower initial cost, as well as significantly lower operating costs. As far as the F-45's being "dogs", I will agree with not liking them. Cold, drafty and noisy, with decidedly reduced visibility, maybe our dislike of them initially, made any little problems more pronounced to us, and therefore made us like them even less? While the fans and foamers love them, I have never known an engineer to even admit to liking them, unless he was a bit of a foamer, himself. My favorite GM products, are those sweet as hell TUNNEL MOTORS, in any variation made. Those Alco-like radiators, vertical ladders and toolboxes in the running boards, as well as the ability to "get down on hands and knees", and crawl with the tonnage while smoking the motors, is never to be forgotten. :wink:

  by trainiac
 
What was the difference between the Plan SD45 and the SD45-2?
Modular electronics was a primary Dash-2 feature, making for easier maintenance. In the case of the 45 series, I think some bugs were also worked out of the 20-cylinder engine. Another addition on the Dash-2 series is the HTC truck, which has all the traction motors oriented in the same direction. This means that the truck is about a foot and a half longer than the Flexicoil, which is why the Dash-2 SD series units are 3 feet longer than the non Dash-2's (in order to leave room for the same 4000-gallon fuel tank). Visibly, on the SD45-2, the longer frame allowed for a longer hood, eliminating the need for flared radiators (evidently, on the SD40-2, the longer frame just meant longer porches). There are other small spotting differences, like the bolted, rather than hinged battery boxes, water-level sight glass and some differences around the central air intake and blower duct.

  by emd_SD_60
 
trainiac wrote:
What was the difference between the Plan SD45 and the SD45-2?
Modular electronics was a primary Dash-2 feature, making for easier maintenance. In the case of the 45 series, I think some bugs were also worked out of the 20-cylinder engine. Another addition on the Dash-2 series is the HTC truck, which has all the traction motors oriented in the same direction. This means that the truck is about a foot and a half longer than the Flexicoil, which is why the Dash-2 SD series units are 3 feet longer than the non Dash-2's (in order to leave room for the same 4000-gallon fuel tank). Visibly, on the SD45-2, the longer frame allowed for a longer hood, eliminating the need for flared radiators (evidently, on the SD40-2, the longer frame just meant longer porches). There are other small spotting differences, like the bolted, rather than hinged battery boxes, water-level sight glass and some differences around the central air intake and blower duct.
I didn't know much about the internal changes until then. I was going to mention the exterior differences also, but never got to. :wink: As I mentioned elsewhere, a new frame was introduced on the Dash-2 SD's.
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